Meet the talented former Sunderland player who's thriving at Newcastle United

Jay Turner-Cooke's getting into his stride at Newcastle United – a year after moving from Sunderland.

Turner-Cooke, set to play in tonight’s fourth-round FA Youth Cup tie against Colchester United at St James’s Park, signed a professional deal after crossing the Tyne-Wear divide.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has since established himself at Under-23 level, and has been a regular on the scoresheet this season.

Turner-Cooke is hoping to help the club’s Under-18s book a place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup, which was last won by Newcastle in 1985 when Paul Gascoigne was a player.

Who is Jay Turner-Cooke?

Turner-Cooke started out at Sunderland, where his father, former player John Cooke, was kitman.

Then 17, he asked to leave following his dad’s controversial departure. Cooke – who gave Sunderland 35 years of service – was let go without any public acknowledgement, and his son, revealed his feelings about the club’s conduct in a strongly-worded tweet, which was later deleted.

He signed a professional deal at United which ties him to the club until next year.

Luke Chambers of Liverpool and Jay Turner-Cooke of Newcastle United in action.

At the time, he tweeted: “Proud moment signing a professional contract at @NUFC. Hard work continues. Thank you to the players and staff at @SunderlandAFC for the last seven years, good luck for the future.”

Where does he play?

Turner-Cooke primarily plays on the right wing, and he’s already made a big goalscoring contribution from midfield this season.

Speaking to the matchday programme, Turner-Cooke said: “I’ve been really pleased with my form in front of goal.

"Since I signed for Newcastle last year, I’ve been happy with my goal contributions in each of the age groups I’ve played for. I think I’ve scored about 11 goals since I’ve joined, and I’m hoping to keep that going.

“I’ve dealt with the step up from Under-18 to Under-23 football quite well. It’s a big change, but I’ve transitioned very quickly, and I feel like I’ve been playing very well, so I’m hoping to keep that up.”

Who is his biggest influence?

Turner-Cooke credits his dad as having the biggest influence on his career so far.

"He had a career in football, so he knows what it takes to make it at a high level,” said Turner-Cooke. “Every day he will be pushing me, telling me what to do, and bringing me down to earth when, say, I’ve been training with the first team or scoring for the Under-23s.”

Turner-Cooke says Newcastle midfielders Joe White and Elliot Anderson are the most talented players he has played with so far.

"Technically, they’re both very good on the ball,” said Turner-Cooke.

How can fans watch the FA Youth Cup tie?

Fans can attend tonight’s tie against Colchester, which kicks off at 7pm. Admission is free to season-ticket holders. Otherwise, it’s £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

"We’re really determined to get into the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup,” said Turner-Cooke, who scored against West Ham United in the last round.

"Last year, I was cup-tied after playing for Sunderland, and I also damaged the ligaments in my ankle, so I’m quite determined to make sure we go as far as possible this year.”

United's Under-18s lead coach Peter Ramage said: “They beat Arsenal (in the last round), so it will be a tough game against really good opposition.”

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